Last Updated: October 12, 2015 1 – Massive Library of Film and Image History

Found In: Knowledge Sharing

Before the Internet, the human race already had well over one hundred years of perfecting media types ranging from photographs to film footage, audio recordings broadcast over radio to later combining audio with film for broadcast on TV and in the cinema. Whilst the Internet for the masses and mainstream is still less than twenty years old, and much has happened with its acceleration to becoming the backbone of our information and communications systems, it of course would have been foolish to not look at taking up our collective history as has been recorded and retained prior to there being the internet. Google took this mission very seriously and many years ago began to digitize every book ever published and toward this end they collaborated with the largest and best resourced universities around the world to scan and upload many tens of millions of books. And they have not been alone in this effort to take up the recorded history, albeit mostly the American governmentís idea of the history they would have us believe.

A Powerful Content and Transcoding Infrastructure at the Backend of Critical Past

Critical Past is an online software as a service web site which serves as a repository for many thousands of hours of video footage with and without sound and millions of photographs all taken or before the internet came into being. Obtained primarily from government sources and archives, Critical Past has developed high speed backend infrastructure so that images or file footage that you wish to license can be encoded in the format that you wish in just a few minutes for immediate download by the user; rather than the normal several days to weeks that it normally takes with of stock film and photograph providers. Clearance for licensing the works has already been negotiated by Critical Past, so the process is greatly simplified for the registered user. Launched in 2007 by two brothers both of whom had backgrounds in information systems and the movie production industry, they purposefully designed v to be a content management system with a difference. And in just a few short years, v has become one of the largest historic and royalty free film and photograph repositories in the world.

Choose Your Desired Film Format, and Critical Past Will Deliver it in Minutes

It is the back end of the Critical Past content management system that is truly remarkable. As we all know, film footage can come in many file types and levels of quality. These include High Definition (HD), Standard Definition (SD), NTSC (which is the American TV broadcast codec or PAL which is used by other countries like Australia. When you select the film footage that you want, within a few minutes the back end of the Critical Past web site will transcode the footage they have on file into whatever file format quality that you require; be it full broadcast quality for immediate transmission on television or a much lower resolution for perhaps an internet application use. Similarly, you are about to have converted images or photos transcoded into JPEG format for immediate download. It is the speed with which how this transcoding and download within minutes that makes Critical Past a truly wonder resource. That and the extensive library they hold of more than seven million images and fifty seven thousand video films make Critical Past an essential tool for those people needing to access archival type files and footage.

Open and Account for Free and Only Pay for What You Want

Opening an account is very simple; only requiring your email address, under name and password. Joining is free of any charges; it is only if you wish to buy a license for any materials that there is any money involved. And their costs are vastly cheaper than most other stock footage producers. So by bringing together Critical Pastís very fast delivery times and their low cost structure, the web site is proving to be very popular with the likes TV and film producers who often have to go to air with tight deadlines as well as film formatting constraints to work within. The library has an excellent search tool for drilling down into the era of your interest. And when you film for example film footage on the subject matter, then you will find related images on the same page and many links to other related files. And as an added bonus, each page with its own topic will also have direct links to third party sites like Wikipedia and Google Maps.

America loves War; Critical Past is the Place to Find the Proof

Given that America is a country that is almost always at war with one or more countries at any one time as it continues its effort to dominate the world and its affairs, it should come as no surprise that most of the film and photos are centered around the wars that America has profited from. In fact if war related content were ignored, then Critical Past would be hard pressed to have much content at all; though it is true to say that many other world events have some degree of coverage or representation in the archive which dates back as far as 1890. One major topic that is not war related is the Great Depression and it certainly does contain extensive coverage in the archive. Users may find the Critical Past forum useful to add further information or to discuss the items that interest them. However the forum is not widely used with only one hundred and thirty topics discussed so far. The service is available to users from all parts of the world, and not only can materials be licensed and downloaded, they can also be transferred to DVD and shipped to any address in the world that the user nominates. As it has been said before; history is written by the victor, and Critical Past represents the American governmentís view of what that history is. America will always be remembered for its wars and the millions killed in the name of freedom, Christianity and democracy.